July 17th, 2006


Now the bull dyke will to do her work.

A very good writing day yesterday. I did 1,530 words and finished "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Ghoul." I like it. Despite all the grimness and death which cannot help but attend a story about the ghouls, it is surprisingly...I don't know...sweet. In a good way. Afterwards, with the aid of a Red Bull, I got my second wind, and we worked on the Daughter of Hounds CEM until sometime after seven p.m., making it as far as page 292 (just about halfway through). It is my intent to spend all of today on the CEM and finish up with the copy-editor's marks.

Preorders on the novel remain high for the third consecutive day. Yesterday, the book's Amazon sales ranking went all the way up to 1,242. Is there anyone out there knowledgeable enough about what those numbers mean to tell me how sales ranking translates into actually copies sold? Does jumping from 500K on Saturday morning to 1,242 on Sunday afternoon mean that 20 copies have sold? 200? 2000? I have no frelling clue. Anyway, I do assume this means the first printing, which is usually rather small, will sell out before publication, which has happened in the past with my Roc trade paperbacks. My thanks to everyone who's preordered or who yet intends to.

Not much else to say about yesterday. We're broiling alive here in Atlanta, but I won't complain too much, as I know much of the rest of the country is suffering the same fate. Dinner was a bit of a disaster last night, despite my excellent guacamole. Our kitchen reached temperatures that, I'm sure, put to shame the very bowels of Hell. From here on, I think we stick to salads and other cold meals until the heat breaks. Later, we watched a very good documentary on IFC about the New Queer Cinema, GLBT film in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s.

It's been a while since I've complained about any particular Amazon.com "review," mostly because I've pretty much stopped reading them. But, while keeping up with the sales ranking on Daughter of Hounds yesterday, I allowed myself to stray to Murder of Angels, and came across the following by one Esther Schindler of Scottsdale, AZ (behind the cut, for those with better things to do):

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Anyway, we have only one auction remaining, a copy of the signed limited edition of The Dry Salvages, as utterly depressing a story as you are ever likely to read. Guaranteed. Please have a look. Bid or buy. Just don't come whining to me when it bites your fingers or keeps you awake. Or when it doesn't. Thanks.

from National Geographic (July 2006, p. 78)

Such a concept [overfishing] was unthinkable back in 1969 when Congress appointed the Stratton Commission to prepare the first report on the U.S. coastal zone, which subsequently laid the foundation for current coastal policies. The Stratton commissioners saw the ocean as a source of endless bounty, encouraging the federal government to build up U.S. fishing fleets and drill for oil and gas offshore. Some 40 years later, says Lubcheno [Dr. Jane Lubcheno, OR State Univ., past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, etc.], it has become painfully obvious just how finite marine resources are and how great a bite humans have taken out of them: 90 percent of the world's large pelagic fishes, like tuna, marlin, and sharks, gone; three-quarters of the world's major fisheries exploited, overfished, or depleted; and enough oil spilling out of U.S. cars to equal an Exxon Valdez-size spill every eight months. Nearly 150 dead zones now occur around the world, including one off Oregon that first appeared in 2002 and that has recurred twice since. Most ominous of all, Lubcheno says, is that the oceans absorb fully half of all the CO2 released by humans—perhaps one of the greatest services the seas provide. But the vast amount of CO2 entering the oceans today is making them more acidic, which, combined with rising sea temperature, could have devastating consequences for anything with a shell or skeleton, essentially making them slower, thinner, and more susceptible to predation.